Practice Makes Perfect, or at Least Expert

The premise of Tony Schwartz’s article is that any talent, skill or ability can be developed like a muscle, that is by working it out, by pushing past the comfort zone, breaking it and then resting. It reminds me very much like Steven Covey’s 7th habit, Sharpen the Saw.

Schwartz refers to Aristotle’s “We are what we repeatedly do” explaining that repetition and practice is the key to real performance improvement as well as overall benefits for focussing, being creative, empathic and less stressed.

If you want to be really good at something, it’s going to involve relentlessly pushing past your comfort zone, along with frustration, struggle, setbacks and failures. That’s true as long as you want to continue to improve, or even maintain a high level of excellence. The reward is that being really good at something you’ve earned through your own hard work can be immensely satisfying.

Here, then, are the six keys to achieving excellence we’ve found are most effective for our clients:

  1. Pursue what you love.
  2. Do the hardest work first.
  3. Practice intensely.
  4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses.
  5. Take regular renewal breaks.
  6. Ritualize practice.

He details these keys in his post, giving tips on how one might start on this path of self-improvement.


The Doctoral Studies Have Begun

I have recently begun my Doctoral Studies in Business Administration at the Université de Sherbrooke, focusing on knowledge transfer in organizations and professional communities of practice.

I am currently mandated as the project manager heading the implementation of the online community of practice of the Global ACI ICAO Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP) for which ASI is the designated Programme Administrator.

My research on the topics of Communities of Practice which has spanned for over 5 years now let me to discover research currently being conducted at the University of Sherbrooke in the area of communities of practice and knowledge transfer. Seeing as I already have developed an expertise in training, specialising in use of technology for professional development systems, I saw an opportunity to augment my knowledge in the area of management and organizational development.

New position – Director of Operations at Aviation Strategies International

As of November 3rd 2008, I will be the new Director of Operations at Aviation Strategies International.

Aviation Strategies International‘s mission is to assist clients involved in the world aviation industry through the provision of value-added senior-level strategic advice, analysis and guidance aimed at solving the aviation-related management and operational problems faced by those clients. One of their key areas of focus is blended learning strategies with emphasis on eLearning and online communities of practice.

I’m very much looking forward to this challenge as this position will offer me the possibility to take my career to the next level. Not only will I have the opportunity to specialize myself in the field of aviation, but I also will be permitted to hone my skills, working on high calibre projects. I will be given the opportunity to innovate in the fields of educational technology and blended learning strategies.

True to form, my directors at Documedia were understanding and supportive of my decision. They are truly first class colleagues. I wish to note that I consider the 3 years I spent at Documedia as Director of Blended Learning Strategies to be a wonderful and enriching experience and I enjoyed collaborating with every member of the team. My decision to move on is purely based on the professional desire to take on a new challenge.

ePortfolio: Uncovering the Talent in your Organization

I went to beautiful Banff, Alberta to deliver a presentation on ePortfolios at the Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA) conference’s conversation café.

Presentation Summary

An ePortfolio is an online record of formal and nonformal learning experiences and accomplishments which goes beyond the traditional résumé form. The objective of my presentation is to look at how implementing an ePortfolio development project in an organization can permit HR professionals to have a more holistic and complete picture of the knowledge, skill and abilities of the talent within their organization.